I know I’m biased, but the Marketing Department, in my opinion, plays the most important role in your upcoming Strategic Planning session.
I know I’m biased, but the Marketing Department, in my opinion, plays the most important role in your upcoming Strategic Planning session. When I was VP, Marketing at River Valley Credit Union – and now when I facilitate Strategic Planning for clients – I requested to focus on Marketing as the first agenda item.
You see, everyone in the room – from the Board Chair to the CEO’s administrative assistant – knows the numbers. Each month they focus on: loan-to-deposit ratio, delinquency ratio, ROA, capital, balance growth, etc. If this is the only focus of strategic planning then you’ll just have a glorified Board or management meeting. This is your chance to look at and consider new info that only Marketing can provide. Information that is critical to strategic thinking and setting the course for the next 12 months and 5 years.
By focusing on this information early in the meeting, you can level-set the thinking of everyone in the room and help them make smarter, more strategic decisions based on internal and external data.
- Where are you in market share?
- Are there any major changes?
- Are there any major changes in the market (new or departed employers for example)?
- What are the trends?
- How are people banking (mobile, text, in-branch, ATM)?
- Do they bank local?
- What is most important (price, convenience, expertise, technology)?
- What’s happening economically? Demographically?
- Who has the greatest share of mind (you can recruit a few employees and make random local calls for a few nights asking people simply to, “Name the first 3 financial institutions that come to mind.”)?
- What is the focus/messaging of local competitors?
- How does your service compare to the key competition?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the “bad guys”?
- What is your key differentiation?
- What do the key competitor’s numbers look like (How does it compare with yours)?
- Checking penetration
- Customer growth
- Loan & Deposit growth
- What are their key loans
- What are the trends?
- Has anyone ramped up advertising or essentially disappeared?
- Map your locations vs your key competitors. Are there opportunity gaps?
CUSTOMERS & PROSPECTS
- Map your existing customers – compare it to the branch map above. NOW are there opportunity gaps?
- What does your very best customer look like (balances, product mix, how do they use you)?
- Where can you find people in your market that look like that?
- Map THEM and compare.
- What Life Stages are they in?
- How do your customers use you?
- What is your true brand?
- How consistent is it? Do you live it at EVERY customer interaction?
- Does your brand still align with your most valuable customers and prospects?
- Can your staff clearly define your brand?